Ryan and Trevor Oakes

Capturing Visual Consciousness: A Tale of Two Eyes, One Brain, One Hand, and One Pen

Date 9/17/12

Affiliation Artists, New York City


Twins Ryan and Trevor Oakes invented a remarkable mechanism that separates the images projected from each eye so the user can scan the world with one eye and draw it with the other, as if tracing onto reality. Inspired by David Hockney's 2002 book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, their "machine" facilitates remarkably realistic drawings that is considered a major advance in art and science of perspective.

The mechanism enhances the cooperation between two eyes, as they integrate their separate images inside the brain to construct an understanding of three dimensional space. The result is an optically accurate "scan" of the artist's visual consciousness. This "scan" is translated with a pen onto paper, without any mathematics, man-made lenses, or mirrors.

The Oakes brothers present an account of how they invented this machine, how it works with examples, with how it relates to the spherical nature of human vision and the canon of western perspective.


Colorado-born visual artists and twin brothers Ryan and Trevor Oakes have been engaged in conversation since they were children. Their public art projects include a large-scale outdoor sculpture that debuted in Chicago's Millennium Park, drawing projects at the Palazzo Strozzi Museum in Florence Italy, as well as projects at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. They were most recently artists in residence at The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, New York. More information on their work can be found at: www.oakesoakes.com.

This event is co-presented with the Department of Art Practice and Zero1 Biennial. "New Work by Ryan and Trevor Oakes" is showing at the Worth Ryder Gallery September 12 - October 6, 2012.

-- As of 9/17/12

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